Kamala Harris to visit DMZ amid tension over North Korean missile launch
US Vice President Kamala Harris will visit the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea on Thursday, a day after Pyongyang fired two ballistic missiles into the waters off its east coast.
Harris arrived in Asia this week to attend former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state funeral in Tokyo, where he also met government leaders from South Korea and Australia.
On Thursday, he met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, with whom he was expected to discuss the threat posed by North Korea, the “importance of peace” across the Taiwan Strait, economic and technological cooperation, and other regional issues, according to the White House.
Harris also met with a group of leading women in the industry before heading to the DMZ, often described as one of the most heavily armed borders in the world.
The DMZ has long been a destination for US presidents and vice presidents on official visits to South Korea, where they have been photographed looking through binoculars at North Korean-controlled territory.
At the DMZ, Harris will meet with service members and receive briefings from US commanders.
Harris’ visit comes a day after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles from the Sunan area of Pyongyang, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
The missiles had a flight distance of about 360 kilometers (224 miles), an altitude of 30 kilometers (19 miles) and a speed of about Mach 6, six times the speed of sound, the JCS said.
This is North Korea’s 20th missile launch this year, by CNN’s tally, and follows another launch on September 25, shortly before Harris arrived in the region.